11 December, 2010
It's been a bit since I actually gave you guys an update, so that's what I'm doing!
The past couple of months have been ca-razy! I was able to attend several events at the Denver Film Fest, including red carpets, after-parties, late-night lounge festivities, premieres, and filmings.
06 December, 2010
I'm going to talk a bit about scams in this one, and it's very important that you pay attention to that! But first, I'll open up with
26 November, 2010
Today, I'm going to finish that session, as well as
20 November, 2010
I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on children in show business, but I do know some stuff.
My first, and biggest, piece of advice woud be to
30 October, 2010
This was not a rally to ridicule people of faith, or people of activism, or look down our noses at the heartland, or passionate argument, or to suggest that times are not difficult and that we have nothing to fear—they are, and we do.
But we live now in hard times, not end times. And we can have animus, and not be enemies. But unfortunately,
09 October, 2010
My title, in case you didn't know, comes from William Goldman's abridged version of S. Morgenstern's The Princess Bride. His father had read it aloud to him when he was a boy, and he gave the book to his son when he (Goldman) went on a business trip. When he came back, his son reported that the book was so boring that he couldn't even get through it.
When Goldman picked it up and started reading it, he realized that his father had cut out all the boring parts when he read it aloud, and was reading "just the good parts."
(But can I let you in on a little secret? S. Morgenstern is actually
19 September, 2010
This is going to be a post of quotes and some pics and some updates, all rather haphazardly thrown together.
Let us begin!
First, here's a screenshot of a Punjabi Portal post in the "Celebrity Member Christa Cannon" forum from June:
03 September, 2010
Still working on my website. I'm doing it myself, so it's taking a very long time...trying to squeeze it in between 3 survival jobs, doing the MILE HIGH LACI website, and producing/acting/scheduling/pulling my hair out for MHL. ;) Hopefully just another couple of weeks, though. It's going to be very MOI! ;)
21 July, 2010
The title of my blog is for a couple different reasons--it's kind of where I feel I've been, and still am...and it's the title of a song I love by Mumford & Sons.
The Cave, Mumford & Sons
"I know my call despite my faults, and despite my growing fears. But I will hold on hope, and I won't let you choke on the noose around your neck. And I'll find strength in pain, and I will change my ways. I'll know my name as it's called again."
Yes, I've been in My Cave and I've been feeling that noose around my neck.
I've been dealing with a lot of stuff in my life over the past couple of months...it's a lot for me in a normal frame of mind, but because of some of it, I've also been tossed into an emotional sea of anxiety & depression--both of which I suffer from. It's one of those lovely genetic traits (like flappy triceps ) passed down through generations. Thanks, Ancestors! 'ppreciate it!
(Disclaimer: That picture is not me!)
Anyway, my point being I've been dealing with a lot of stuff and fighting depression on top of it all. So it hasn't been a fun couple o' months. That's part of the reason I haven't been updating my blog very often. I'm constantly exhausted, I'm stressed, I get headaches that make me nauseous, and all I want to do is veg in front of the telly, getting lost in TV shows and movies. (Not helping that tricep situation, but I just bought that new Shake-Weight thing--yes, I did, don't laugh!--and it actually works!)
There is so very little work here in Denver, which is why I've created my own webseries. Ubnfortunately, we've been in pre-production since December and won't start filming for another month, so that's not helping the "no work" situation, as far as being in front of the camera. And I'm well aware that as long as I live here, it's going to stay the same.
If I could pick up and move to LA tomorrow, I would. And who knows? Maybe I will. I know I should, at any rate. Starting next Wednesday, I am officially unemployed...so while I'm looking for new Survival Jobs (desperately needed--I don't know how some families are managing without both parents working), I might as well search in LA, right?
Except 1) I can't afford it and 2) my husband wouldn't move with me right now. Probably not for another year, at the very least (and that's an optimistic estimate). So do I choose between my career and my husband?
What the hell?!
There's so much that I want to do, so much that I feel I'm meant to do. And I'm not doing a goddamn bit of it. Instead, I'm having to focus most of my time and energy on job hunting...and oh, great, I may have just shot myself in the foot on that one. Employers look online and it's not like this blog is private!
An Actor's Struggle
So I've let myself acknowledge, lately, the hidden defeatist feelings I usually keep at bay. Sometimes, the Naysayers and Negative Nancys I run from are inside me, and it's hard to run away from yourself. I know that from experience.
As an actress, I'm very much aware of my shelf life. Each passing year just brings me that much closer to my expiration date--the time when no casting director is willing to hire you anymore, no director willing to take a risk on your unknown name...where nothing but Community Theatre and Student Films awaits you.
I'm not knocking either of those--I've had wonderful experiences with both, and they've enabled me to add to my knowledge. But they're no longer in my "tier." I've done what some people call "Tier Jumping," and unless I'm in a very large market-- like LA, New York, London, Toronto, or Vancouver--I won't be taking two steps back.
Which is why I'm stuck.
In My Cave.
I have to get going--I'll write another blog soon... :)
Meantime, I'll try not to do sadness.
"Cause you know, I don't do sadness...not even a little bit. Just don't need it in my life, don't want any part of it."
27 June, 2010
I'll start with Katie Finneran's Tony acceptance speech. It was the best one of the night, and definitely made me tear up!
Katie Finneran's Tony Acceptance Speech
Here's the part I love:
"Most of all, I want to talk to the kids at home watching. I was a kid and I watched the show and it seemed so far away from me. And I want to tell you that all of us up here on this stage and in this audience, we feel the same way... and with the world being so fast right now, I want to remind you to focus on what you love, because it is the greatest passport, it is the greatest roadmap to an extraordinarily blissful life. Just focus on that one thing. Don't listen to anybody else...and you will run into the right people, the right teachers, the right moments and circumstances and one day you wil meet...a person taht will share that love with you."
I've watched the Tonys almost every year since I was about 10 or 11. So I was that kid, too, watching all the spectacular Broadway productions showcased at the Tonys and picturing myself being a part of it all.
I still do that...with the Tonys, Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes, Baftas...need I go on? I think you get the picture. I imagine what I'd wear and what I'd say on the red carpet and my reaction when I win!
I am sad to say I have not yet achieved that "extraordinarily blissful life" that Katie mentioned. With my Survival Job, trying to maintain a personal life, trying to get a webseries off the ground, trying to do this and that...well, happiness has been hard to come by recently. (Speaking of trying to do things--I had to laugh typing that, because of Bonnie Gillespie's latest blog, No One Wants to See You Try.)
But watching Katie has reminded me of why I'm doing all of this...why I'm still doing it, after all these years of what some people call "failures."
I can't call them failures, though--because I know better. I know exactly what it's taken for me to get where I am today, and just how difficult it was. I know the tears and the struggle and the heartache and the criticism it took to get me where I am right now.
I'm still standing.
And I'm still going...and damn it, I'll get what I want.
Now, must spend some time finding My Passport.
Till next time.
11 May, 2010
So, here 'tis:
When I decided to create a web series, it was mostly to keep myself working on my craft. In smaller markets like Denver, we don't get quite as many opportunities as we might elsewhere. I'm a short redhead—and no one seems to be needing those 'round these here parts!
As I started looking into the process of making a web series, I discovered that my little project could become a SAG signatory, thus raising the level of production, acting, crew, and maybe even our status in the eyes of those who listen to my occasional babblings.
SAG? Yes, please! Maybe this could be what helps me become SAG eligible! (I was right about that!) So off I went, dragging my friend Jazz Copeland (Jazzy K Productions) along for the ride.
And what a ride it was! First stop: turning in the Preliminary Info Sheet. Okay, that was a breeze to fill out and fax back. We turned it in well before the week before starting production, which is what SAG asks for. Excellent! Now what?
Well, we waited. And waited...and waited. (Reminder to self: pick up the phone to check on the status next time.) But finally we heard back from SAG, and were given our very own New Media Rep, Maria. Marvelous, Magnificent Maria. She let us know we were approved to begin the next step!
Maria emailed us the paperwork needed, which included production company documents (this can also be done by individuals), a pre-production cast list, and a line item budget.
Uh...okay. Part One: just fill out what it says! Great, done. Part Two...same. I needed each actor's name, social security number, and agent info for this list. Part Three: Budget? We don't have a budget! I'll admit I started freaking out at this point. What if I put down a number, but I can't pay anyone? What if I just put “zero?” Will they reject our application?
With New Media contracts, there are no minimums and pay is negotiable. This is both good and bad. Good for self-producers like me, with no money and no rich uncles. Bad for actors (also like me!), because we could technically work for very little pay, though the work involved is no different than any other project.
I ended up putting down what I hoped to be able to pay at some point, which is Ultra Low SAG scale. The actors all understand that we cannot pay this upfront, but that they will be paid.
At any rate (or no rate, as the case may be!), we sent those back to Maria and we eventually got our SAG Contract Packet in the mail. You'll have to forgive me—I'm pretty foggy on the dates—I can't remember how long we waited for each packet. It was a while—so fair warning: when they say start it a week before production, you might want to make that two months.
Back to our packet: Oh, happy day! We'll sign a few papers, send them back, and find out we are now a SAG production!!! Jazz and I got together with our notebooks and our pens, all ready to sign and send. Aaaaand then we went through that packet. At that point all I wanted was a hookah, so I could create a huge question mark in the air, a la Lewis Carroll's Caterpillar.
What did this packet include? Here's the rundown:
- New Signatories Instruction Sheet
- NM BG Actor
- NM Performer
- Exhibit G – Time Sheet
- Final Cast List
- P&H Waiver of Ownership Interest
- Pension & Health Adherence Letter
- Taft Hartley-Principal
- New Media Information Sheet
- New Media Transfer of Rights
- New Media P&H Weekly Contribution Report
- Signed AMPTP Agreement w-Rate Sheet
- New Media Agreement
- SAG Logo
- Taft-Hartley form
Thank goodness for that instruction sheet, which included a Step 1, 2, and 3 to help us fill everything out. We still had questions on a few things, but Maria was always very helpful and fun to work with. A lot of this was Fun Bedtime Reading (I'm looking at you, AMPTP Agreement Tome), but we managed to get everything signed and filled out—and sent back to Maria.
And in another week or so, we got the Big News. We were now officially a SAG production! Despite all the paperwork, and the amount of time between sending in our Preliminary Info sheet and actually getting approved, it was a pretty easy, straightforward process. The reps in the New Media department are there to help you every step of the way.
Next up: Turning in the Taft-Hartley forms for our non-union actors!
New Media projects are a fantastic—and legitimate--way for actors in small markets to continue working. We all know Denver gets dry spells on occasion, but this is a way to not let that affect you anymore. No one's casting me? Okay, fine. I'm going to write my own projects, produce them with some talented friends, negotiate with local businesses, and pitch the series to various websites! I've got Mr. Blue Bird on my shoulder, folks, and he's singing along with me!
We're still in pre-production at the moment. Because of the level of talent we have, we're aiming high on this series, so we have to be the absolute best we can be! The support from the Denver community has been amazing, and we can't wait for those cameras to start rolling!
Now...how to get my Irish short produced, with Cillian Murphy attached (playing opposite me, naturally)? Hmmm... stay tuned. That just may be my next article. :)
For more information on the SAG New Media process, you can go to: www.sag.org/new-media-contracts
28 March, 2010
Anyway! i <3 lac;) (I Heart Laci in text-ese) is now officially a SAG production!!! WOOOOO-HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Laci also has a comedy scriptwriter, and a marketing guru, and a dream cast and crew.
I met with Crystal Gardner today to go over her Marketing Plan--we could have stayed for hours chatting, but we only had two! We covered a lot in those two hours, though--and I can't WAIT to start implementing some of those plans! We've already started our twitter account: @IHeartLaci (You can get to mine from there, too, if you're so inclined. ;) )
The user pic will be changed soon.
Saturday we filmed "Annoying Habits" with the core cast--so much fun, and I think everyone will find it pretty dang funny! I'm trying to see if we can film another ep in two weeks. I'd like to have at least three episodes on the website for our launch party in May.
Yep--a real, live Launch Party!!!! More later--this is supposed to be quick, Christa!
Right now I'm trying to gather 6 actors, one photographer, and one make-up artist for a photo shoot sometime in April.
I'm about to pull my hair out. No joke.
Instead, I'm going to update my website, check my email, brush my teeth, wash my face, put on various magic potions and creams, and head to bed.
Ah, bed... :)
21 March, 2010
On to Laci!!!
So if you've been keeping up with my blog, you know I've started a webseries loosely based on a modern Ricky and Lucy. We have a disclaimer from CBS and had originally planned to keep the same first names, but we decided it would be better to change them entirely. It's called i <3 lac;) (I Heart Laci, in text-ese.)
Last week I attended the monthly CASA Mass Focus meeting, where I was able to fill people in a bit on what we've been doing...and for the first time after an industry meeting, people were waiting to talk to me. Normally, I'm always waiting in line to talk to other people...this is all very exciting for me! It's the little things, you know. :D
Anyway, after speaking to a few people, we now have a PR/Marketing guru, so I don't have to stress about that anymore! *whew* I had ideas to get us out there, and things we should do, but it's so much easier having someone who does this for a living...knows what will work and what won't. And one less thing for me to worry about. Now I can focus on other things!
We also have a script guru! We were writing them ourselves...maybe one of us would write a rough draft, and the rest would make suggestions. But we're all busy and trying to get even just the second script written was difficult. So Kevin was a gift from heaven! (Oh, that rhymed!)
Our first meeting with the both of them was today, and we've squared a few things away, worked more on our characters and what we're hoping for the series...Kevin's going to pitch 10 or so ideas for a couple of episodes, and we'll choose one (hopefully two) to film next Saturday. And just keep on goin'!
There's also a lady on a local PBS program who would like to get us on...which would be fantastic! Hey! I'll be on PBS! That's *close* to BBC, right? ;)
So...things have been going slowly for a while. We've hit a couple bumps--had to re-cast our Ricky (now Richie)--schedules are tough--etc. But we are on a roll now!
We've generated so much interest so far, and we don't even have anything up yet! We've got high hopes for our little series. Originally, it was going to be for fun, and something to get us SAG eligible. But it's turned into something bigger than that and I can't wiat to see where this goes! I won't tell you what I'm hoping...once we get our website started, we'll keep everyone updated on what's going on. So you'll just have to stay tuned, I guess!
We're going to be scheduling a photo shoot soon, which I'm excited about. A proper photo shoot!!!! For something that I created! This was a little idea in my brain, and now I have a cast, and a crew...and not just any cast and crew, either. Everyone is so dedicated and helpful--the cast is all experienced and professional (you have no idea how much easier that makes everything!). The crew knows exactly where to go and what to do.
And something else awesome about our cast? Multi-ethnic. :) Very proud of that.
Now I need to think about a short little jingle to be the theme song. Anyone wanna write something for me to sing? ;)
11 March, 2010
Wednesday, I start training for my new job, and there is absolutely no way to take a day off during that month of training. So, I sighed and decided I couldn't do the audition.
I talked with Andy about it--it would be a VERY good gig to get. Commercials, radio, print, web, VO and it could be for the entire year.
I'm a responsible person, which is both good and bad. When I moved to SoCal the first time, I only had two gigs. I couldn't audition because I was afraid of taking the time off of work. But that's kind of silly. Yes, this job pays the bills and I still need to be responsible and loyal. BUT...if an opportunity comes up, I can't keep closing the door on it.
(That responsibility, by the way, translates very well in my acting career. I am ALWAYS early for auditions and on set. In India, I was ready for my scenes and on set an hour before anyone else. If a break is 15 minutes, I'm back in 10. Call time's 5 AM? I'll see you at 4.45. There are plenty of people who don't do this--and it's a huge waste of time and money waiting for everyone to get ready. This is your job--you can't stroll in 20 minutes late and expect the producer to be happy about that! Time is money! Time is money!!!!!!)
So, I'm going to that audition tomorrow. And I'm hoping the callbacks are Tuesday. If they're Thursday, I'll try and make it as early as I can. If I get the gig, I quit the survival job. (After jumping around and screaming for a few hours.)
I couldn't let this one pass. My agent called me this morning about it...the casting director had called her and asked specifically if I was going to be there. No, that doesn't necessarily mean my chances are better--but it means I can't say no! It's a great thing to have the CD ask about me. I can't tell you how wonderful that makes me feel!
I'm so excited! This would be a perfect gig for me...I hope they just fall in love with me! I need to be extra cute, cute, cute and funky tomorrow! Will be scouring the closet today...cute and funky, cute and funky. Will definitely wear my glasses!
You know what would be really nice? Having a casting assistant pick out my outfit for every audition!
Thank God my new MAC mineralize SPF 15 makeup came in yesterday. That stuff is AWESOME. (P.S. More affordable on eBay!)
Off to: workout, memorize script, pick out the perfect cute and funky outfit. :)
Oh--and rehearsals tonight for a scene-done-stage-style from JIMMY SAID that I'll be doing for CASA's Mass Focus on Saturday! If you're in Denver, you really should be attending MF on Saturday. Just sayin'! Check the link, you'll see why. Once a month--Mass Focus! Be there! If you're a screenwriter, we do cold reads of part of your script--actors, it's a great way to network!
See you Saturday!
08 March, 2010
First, we've changed the Lucy web series name to: i <3 lac;) (I Heart Laci.) We changed the names of the major characters, just in case. We do have a disclosure ABC gave us to include in each webisode, but we don't want anything else to come back to bite us. So: Laci, Richie, Frank, Eve and two new characters: Jimmy and JoJo are eager to make your acquaintance!
We're almost finished with all the SAG paperwork. I'm pretty excited about it--but wow! That's a lot of paperwork! I can't imagine having to do this for a feature film! It'll all be worth it, though. We'll have a SAG production on our hands, and the possibility of being able to Taft-Hartley ourselves into SAG. Well, I don't plan on joining quite yet--but just having "SAG-Eligible" on my resume will be fantastic. I won't join while living in Denver...there's not enough SAG productions out this way to keep me employed!
We've finished our first "official" webisode, and would like to shoot a couple more before putting them online. Getting everyone's schedules to mesh is the hardest part. All of us are pretty busy and it seems like we're only able to film about once a month at this point. Nevertheless, we're going to get started on marketing and fan pages pretty soon. :) I'll let you know when we're ready to debut the first episode! You'll finally be able to figure out why we have pie all over our faces!
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="362" caption="Mmmmm, pie!"][/caption]
I've started a new workout routine. I'll be the first to admit I can be lazy in the fitness aspect of things. I'm not overly fond of working out, and that's putting it mildly. But I have to. Not only do I feel better about myself when I'm toned and fit and healthy, I also look better on camera! It's kind of necessary to my "type" to stay toned and slender. I'm doing Jillian MIchaels' 30-Day Shred video and find that it really kicks my arse!!! No kidding! It's about 25 minutes everyday, but in that time, you're really working hard. Please note--I am neither endorsing this video nor asking you to buy. The link is so you can see what it is and read other reviews! ;) I'm really liking it, though. I can't use time as an excuse anymore, as it's less than thirty minutes. I get strength, cardio, and abs 5-6 days a week and hopefully in a few weeks, I'll start noticing small changes in my body!
My last blog had mention of EYE OF NOOR, a vampire vs. paladin movie I had accepted a role in. Due to several reasons, I had to bow out. I won't go into any details, but I hope all the best for the production!
If you'll notice in my Blogroll, The Actor's Voice is among the links I've included. Bonnie Gillespie is an LA-based casting director. Though I can't claim to actually know her, I have been able to talk a bit with her through email and Facebook, and I follow her weekly column (AND advice!). These past couple of weeks, she's been asking us actors for resumes, headshots, websites, etc. to critique. I'm sure she gets asked all the time to critique materials, but she decided to dedicate a couple of her columns to the critiques, in order to help us all out. I submitted my website, because I feel it's just a bit boring. There's a few things I know I need to fix professionally, and I will do that...but I feel it needs a bit more of my personality to it, without going overboard. Anyway--imagine my surprise to open her column these past couple Mondays to find myself !!!! She has critiqued both my headshot and resume so far. And *whew* So far, so good. :) I've fixed my resume--except that darn formatting issue which always screws up!
I'm just excited knowing that an LA casting director has looked at my stuff! Does it mean she'll call me tomorrow when a breakdown fits me? Sadly, no. :) But when I do get to LA, there's at least one casting director who knows my name and a bit of my work.
Which brings me to an issue I'm having. Not a huuuuge deal, but frustrating, nonetheless. I'm ready to create my reel--a short video of some of the films I've been in--but am having trouble getting footage (whether raw, edited, whatever) from my gigs. Having a reel on my website and on Actors Access will help so much, but I can't do it right now. About once a month, I ask various directors for anything to use. I don't want to annoy them, but it is my career. Reels help showcase an actor's work, and do more than a photo and resume would to get in the door. So I'll just keep asking, I guess!
Something exciting may happen: Andy and I might move! We don't know when or where, though! It could be overseas...or it could be LA. As much as I would love moving back to England, right now I need to be in LA. If I'm going to be successful at all, it needs to be LA. That's just the way it is.
We won't move for a little while, and it's really all dependent on Andy's job at the moment. But within a year, we could be in LaLa Land!!!
And I'm back to having a Survival Job. I had a few months after India of blessed freedom, but bills don't really disappear. I wanted another part-time job, but I found a full-time job (evenings) that I can do from home. Saves moolah on gas!!! I may not be able to audition as much, anymore, but we'll see what happens! This will help so much in getting to LA--and it's really there I need to be auditioning, not smaller markets. But I'll be out there, Denver and New Mexico, as often as I can!!!
Oh--before I forget! Please visit my IMDb page as often as you can. Just once a day helps a lot.
It may sound silly, but the more visits I get, the higher my "star rating" is. And don't forget--this business pays attention to who's popular. A bigger way of driving up my star rating is to talk about me on the message boards! As much as I'd love to log in under assumed identities, I have to leave this in your hands. :)
What are STARmeter & MOVIEmeter?
STARmeterTM and MOVIEmeterTM are rankings of every person and title in IMDb. Available only on IMDbPro, our website designed for people who work in the entertainment industry, STARmeterTM and MOVIEmeterTM provide industry professionals with insights into the popularity of film and television productions as well as the people who make them. To learn more about our rankings, sign-up for an IMDbPro two week free trial. To start your free trial, click here.
What do the rankings mean?
Plain and simple, they represent what people are interested in, based not on small statistical samplings, but on the actual behavior of millions of IMDb users. Unlike the AFI 100TM or Academy AwardsTM, high rankings on STARmeterTM and MOVIEmeterTM do not necessarily mean that something is "good." They do mean that there is a high level of public awareness and/or interest in the title or person.
How are these ratings calculated?
IMDbPro uses proprietary algorithms that take into account several measures of popularity for people and titles. The primary measure is who and what people are looking at on the public IMDb.com website.
The rankings are updated on a weekly basis.
So keep clicking away!!! You have no clue what a help it is. This week I went up to #43,049 from a dismal #87,355. Is Sam Mendes or Baz Luhrmann taking note? Again--and sadly--no. :) But they will!!!
15 February, 2010
Well, let's hop right into it!
I've changed agents to Radical Artists. It was a tough decision. I love the folks at Eden Talent, but the very reason I chose them was the reason I also had to leave! I was with another big agency in town, as well as with Eden. The other agency told me I had to choose. At the time, I wasn't one of the other agency's favourites, so I wasn't going out on auditions a lot. Eden is smaller and more of a boutique agency, and I knew they believed in me. They're fantastic! I have no complaints! But sometimes you have to make a move for your career that isn't easy, but is necessary.
I've already been on more auditions with them than I did all of last year! I know I made the right decision for this stage in my career. :)
We're set to film our second webisode of i <3 luc;) this coming Sunday. I'm really looking forward to that! We have a new Ricky--so we'll consider our first ep as "practice" and put it up sometime later. WE've got a great cast, we're all helping the project, so it's not down to just one or two people's responsibility. A huge relief--I can't tell you how many projects ( film or otherwise) I've had to take over. Stressful.
I've accepted a role as an 8000-year-old Paladin in EYE OF NOOR. I can't say a whole lot about it at this point, as I've signed an NDA. But I'm practicing with swords and fighting--and hopefully I'll look great as I kick some vampire arse!
My Oscar party is on the 7th--very much looking forward to that! Although this year I have to come up with TEN dishes named for the Best Pic nominees. Ugh. Five was hard enough, sometimes. Well, at least there won't be a lack of food and drink. :)
I'm sure I have more to discuss...but I'm trying to keep to a schedule these days--and I'm WAY off today. (Not that this is unusual! But I have to at least pretend to try...)